I’ve been working on getting my natural labor kit put together for Baby #3, who should be arriving any time now! I knew that I wanted to incorporate some therapeutic essential oils to help with relieving stress, soothing anxiety, reducing tension and nausea, etc, and have about 8 different oils that I like to pack just in case!
This time around, though, I wanted to make things easier by pre-mixing a DIY Labor Potion that could be safely used in all stages of labor. This potion is also very multi-purpose, making it great to use for massage, diffusing, and making hot or cold compresses. That way when we need it quick, we don’t have to fish around for certain oil(s) or worry about mixing them together in the right proportions.
My Top 5 Oils (for use in any stage of labor):
There are so many calming/soothing oils that could be used safely in labor, but these five really balance well together and create both a calming and uplifting environment that helps the mind to focus while still promoting feelings of peace and relaxation. That is why I chose them specifically for my labor blend…
- Lavender: No surprises, there, folks! We all know lavender is the #1 calming oil out there, right?! It helps to calm nerves and relax the mind and body, it can encourage focus, reduce heart rate, and lower skin temperature and stress. All of these things sound pretty welcomed in a non-medicated labor experience to me!
- Frankincense: This oil can actually be used as a mild pain reliever (score!), and is also bragged on for its abilities to relieve tension and impart peace and relaxation. It can also be cooling to the skin, and is a great oil to have around for post-partum use as it can help heal tears and be a good aid in reducing post-labor contractions. (Check out more tips on using it post-partum at the bottom of this post.)
- Ylang Ylang: This oil is said to help create a positive and cheery outlook and to reduce stress hormones, while providing a calming and peaceful environment.
- Roman Chamomile: Chamomile is clearly another popular oil used for calming! It is widely known for its mild sedative properties, but can also help to give focus while promoting relaxation.
- Sweet Orange (optional): Orange can be used as a natural anti-depressant due to its ability to uplift the mood and calm the body. It can also help with nausea (more on that below). I put this as an optional oil simply due to how little of it I use in the blend. It provides suttle under tones, but is definitely not a dominate note in the blend. So if you don’t have it on hand, you don’t necessarily need to go buy it.
DIY Labor Potion
Ingredients + Supplies:
- 32 drops Lavender Essential Oil (buy here or here)
- 32 drops Frankincense Essential Oil (buy here or here)
- 16 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (buy here or here)
- 16 drops Roman Chamomile Essential Oil (buy here or here)
- Optional: 4 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil (buy here or here)
- Amber glass bottle with dropper (I use these)
Simply drip appropriate amounts of each of the oils listed above into your glass bottle. Screw the lid on tightly and swirl the bottle around several times to combine.
Pick one of the three methods below to use for massage, compresses, or diffusing.
3 Ways to Use this Potion in Labor:
1. Massage Oil (2% dilution)
Don’t worry, I am not going to tell you to pre-make a homemade massage oil! Our labor massage oil is “made” on the spot in seconds using these nifty coconut oil packs from Trader Joe’s! I LOVE using these in labor as they are already measured out in small portions, so it is easy to quikly add the safe amount of Labor Potion to it, mix right in the pouch, and squeeze out straight from there. It’s a great mess-free solution and you won’t have an abundance of pre-made oil left over.
For a 2% dilution massage oil….
- Tear off the corner of the coconut oil pouch. (If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, you could buy these .5 oz pouches from Amazon)
- Drop 6 drops of Labor Potion directly into the pouch
- Pinch the bottom of the pouch with your fingers to combine the ingredients
- Get massaging!
2. Cold or Hot Washcloth Compresses
These therapuetic washcloths can be made hot or cold, as desired, in seconds. We like to use them for wiping the forehead or back of neck, to lay over my face and inhale for a few seconds.
In a small bowl mix…
- 5 drops of Labor Potion (optional: mix the essential oils with a teaspoon of sea salt before adding in the water to help them emulsify better and more evenly distribute on washcloths)
- 1 cup of icy or hot water, based on preference
- You can double/triple/quadruple recipe as needed
Throw in a few washcloths and swirl around in the liquid. Ring out and use. You can either add new washcloths to the bowl as needed, or even get a few uses out of the ones you have already used as long as they haven’t become soiled.
To make the water hot or cold again, simply add in about a cup of boiling or ice water to the bowl with 5 more drops of the Labor Potion.
We like to diffuse oils using our cold steam diffuser. (Using heat to diffuse can actually compromise or destroy some of the therapeutic benefits of the oils.) Though the aromatherapy can be calming and soothing, I wouldn’t suggest diffusing the oils for longer than 15-20 minutes at a time in labor. The reason for this is that our pregnancy super noses can be ultra sensitive, and even too much of a good smell can work towards making us nauseous or irritated. But I will leave that decision up to you!
In our diffuser, we simply add water to the fill line and use 6 drops of the Labor Potion. Be sure to check with manufacturer’s recommendations on how many oils to add to your diffuser.
There are still a few other oils that I include in my labor kit that may be pulled out at certain points or situations in labor. But the truth of the matter is that I doubt we will use the extras much, as I love the smell and benefits of this potion as is! (And, of course, I’ve been practicing relaxation and our birth method stuff, and staying faithful to my daily pregnancy exercises, so I ‘m feeling pretty good about labor even aside from essential oils!)
What Oils do YOU like to use for childbirth and labor? Let me know in the comments below!